Does race exist biologically? What does it mean when people say that race is a "social construct?"
New Demographic Newsletter | www.newdemographic.com | February 2007

Did your email system wrangle this newsletter? Read the HTML version online at
http://www.newdemographic.com/newsletter0702.htm

Monthly Newsletter from New Demographic

Carmen Van Kerckhove, co-founder and president of New Demographic Dear Friend of New Demographic,

Here's what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • What is it that I'm working on with the Science Museum of Minnesota? find out
  • Can Racialicious, the blog, be turned into a workshop? find out
  • What the heck is Black Snake Moan? find out
  • Do blogs and other social media help or hurt discussions about race? find out
  • Are all Asians either math nerds or lotus blossoms? find out

Race: Are We So Different?

Race Exhibit at Science Museum of Minnesota

Does race exist biologically? What does it mean when people say that race is a "social construct?"

These are some of the questions tackled by the new exhibit, "RACE: Are We So Different?," developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota.

I'm excited to announce that I'm working with the museum's web site as a featured "Scientist on the Spot." This segment of the web site features experts (not only scientists) from various fields, and allows visitors to submit questions to those experts, either from home via the museum's web site, or from the museum via a computer station.

I'll be "on the spot" for six weeks, from February 23 through to April 5. So if you'd like, please submit a question to the web site! I'll be answering up to five questions per week. The questions will be selected by the museum and posted to the site:

Questions for Carmen Van Kerckhove

Developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, RACE is the first nationally traveling exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States. Have a look at their excellent web site, UnderstandingRace.org

Racialicious - a blog about race and pop culture

Racialicious, the workshop, at NYU on March 6th

Can Racialicious, the blog, be turned into a workshop? I'm going to try! On March 6th, I'll be at NYU presenting the following seminar:

Racialicious! When Race and Pop Culture Collide
From the neo-minstrelsy of Flavor of Love to the racial segregation on Survivor, from the race-swapping families on Black.White. to the fascination with interracial sex, from Gwen Stefani’s use of Harajuku girls as mute human props to Angelina Jolie’s obsession with international adoption, from Michael Richards’ lynching tirade to Rosie O’Donnell’s “ching chong” remarks, race and pop culture are colliding more now than ever before. What does pop culture reveal about our attitudes toward race and racism? Does pop culture’s treatment of race help or harm discussions about race? As consumers of pop culture, what kinds of stereotypes and assumptions should we look out for?

Would you like to attend? If so, please email me at carmen@newdemographic.com and I'll give you all the details.

Would you like to have me present this seminar at your school, company, or organization? Email me for fees and availability.

Carmen quoted in Newsweek

I talk to Newsweek about the film "Black Snake Moan"

The February 19, 2007 issue of Newsweek features a review of the film "Black Snake Moan," director Craig Brewer’s follow-up to 2005’s "Hustle & Flow."

Writer Joshua Alston was kind enough to include a quote from me:

There’s no polite way to describe Craig Brewer’s “Black Snake Moan,” so let’s get it over with. Samuel L. Jackson stars as Lazarus, an old black bluesman who tries to cure Rae (Christina Ricci) of nymphomania by tethering her to his radiator with a steel chain. Revolted? Intrigued? Amused? If you checked all of the above, Brewer would be delighted. His film “Hustle & Flow” got two Oscar nominations (and won for best song) in 2005, but it also kicked up a lot of criticism that the story of a black pimp didn’t need to be told, especially by a white director.

“Moan” raises the stakes with both its reverse slave imagery and its disturbing depiction of sex addiction. “Having a white girl chained up at a black man’s house, that definitely seems manipulative,” says Carmen Van Kerckhove, president of the diversity-training firm New Demographic.

Carmen speaking at BlogHer Business
Carmen speaking at South by Southwest Interactive

Is social media good or bad for race dialogue?

A wise woman once told me that blogging is a technology gateway drug.

It's so true. I've been completely hooked ever since Jen and I started the blog Mixed Media Watch, now known as Racialicious, back in April 2004. And I can't seem to stop starting new blogs! (Look for a new one next month. Ahem.)

But are blogs and other forms of social media effective ways to bring people into discussions about race and racism? Or does the anonymity of the internet bring out the worst in people?

I'll be discussing this very topic on the panel "Bridging the Online Cultural Divide" at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin on Saturday, March 10. If you'll be there, stop by and say hi!

I'll also be speaking at BlogHer Business on Thursday, March 22 in New York City. I'd love to meet up if you'll be attending!

Carmen speaks at Northeastern University

Lotus blossoms, math nerds, and other stereotypes about Asians and Asian-Americans

On January 17th, I visited Northeastern University to present a brand-new workshop, all about Asian and Asian-American stereotypes:

Lotus Blossoms and Math Nerds: Challenging Stereotypes about Asian-Americans and Understanding Their Origins
This seminar examines the most common racial stereotypes—both negative and positive—about Asians and Asian-Americans and demonstrates how these widespread ideas can manifest themselves in everyday life. Using a variety of media, Carmen Van Kerckhove explores the historical origins of these stereotypes and explains why they are so harmful.

You can listen to an audio testimonial from Delia Cheung Hom, Assistant Director of the Asian American Center at Northeastern University by clicking here.

Would you like to have me present this seminar at your school, company, or organization? Email me for fees and availability.

- - - - -

That's it for this month!

Please help New Demographic to grow by forwarding this email to a friend and encouraging them to check out our web site!

Until next time,

Carmen Van Kerckhove

Co-Founder and President
New Demographic
carmen@newdemographic.com

www.newdemographic.com

New Demographic is an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

 

About This Newsletter
This newsletter is published by New Demographic, an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

Contact Us
Carmen Van Kerckhove
Co-Founder and President
Tel: 917.657.3886
carmen@newdemographic.com

Subscribe Today!
Did a friend send you this? Sign up for your own copy by filling out the form below.

New Demographic's Core Beliefs
Read about the core beliefs that drive everything we do.

Watch Our Demo Speaking Video
Watch a streaming video of our many media and speaking appearances.

View Videos of Our Media Appearances
Watch video clips of our past media appearances, including MSNBC, CNN, Forbes.com, The John Walsh Show, Asian America on PBS, The Ananda Lewis Show, and much much more.

Speaking Engagements
Mar 22, 2007
BlogHer Business Conference
Mar 10, 2007
South by Southwest (SXSW)
Mar 6, 2007
New York University (NYU)
Jan 17, 2007
Northeastern University
Nov 17, 2006
Princeton University
Oct 19, 2006
Brown University
Oct 19, 2006
Denison University

What People Are Saying About New Demographic

"Your comments bring humor to topics people are afraid to laugh at. As one of my students said: 'People are afraid to talk about race, much less joke about it.' Keep up the excellent work!"
--Jacquelyn Lewis-Harris, Director of The Center for Human Origin and Cultural Diversity at The University of Missouri St-Louis

"I feel like I've been walking around with blinders on. The myths you presented really challenged me to be aware of these attitudes. Also, I feel challenged to pay attention to my own preconceptions about interracial couples."
--Anonymous attendee of our workshop on interracial relationships at Swirl, Inc. on October 5, 2005

"Jen Chau and Carmen Van Kerckhove are respected experts in the field of mixed race studies and community organizing, and I found their resources to be invaluable."
--Eun Jean Song, Co-President 2002-2004, New York University's Biracial and Multiracial Students Association (BAMSA)

"Jen and Carmen are skilled at leading a thought-provoking discussion and are aware of the different facets of a person's identity."
--Betsy Goldberg, Hebrew School Principal & Youth Coordinator at Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, MI

"Carmen and Jen were open to sharing personal feelings, experiences, and insights that others would not have so comfortably shared."
--Shira Beery, Student at Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY

Addicted to Race - a podcast about America's obsession with race

Addicted to Race
Our weekly podcast about America's obsession with race.

Racialicious - a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture

Racialicious
Our blog about the intersection of race and pop culture.

Anti-Racist Parent - blog for parents who are committed to raising children with an anti-racist outlook

Anti-Racist Parent
Our blog for parents who are committed to raising children with an anti-racist outlook.

 

Keynote and Seminar Topics
  • Beyond Diversity Buzzwords and Oppression Olympics:
    A New Framework for Discussing Race and Racism
  • Not Just Fetishists and Race Traitors:
    Challenging the Ways We Look At Interracial Relationships
  • Racialicious! When Race and Pop Culture Collide
  • Recognizing Racial Stereotypes and Their Impact on the Workplace
  • Cute But Confused: Myths and Realities of Mixed Race Identity
  • Geishas and Math Nerds: Challenging Stereotypes about Asian-Americans and Understanding Their Origins
  • Never The Twain Shall Meet: Interracial Relationships On the Big Screen
  • Tragic Mulattos and Exotic Temptresses: (Mis)representations of Mixed Race People in the Media
For information on availability and fees, please email carmen@newdemographic.com.

 

About New Demographic
New Demographic is an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

© 2004-2007 New Demographic. All rights reserved.